Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers
By Arundhati Roy
About the Book
‘What happens once democracy has been used up? When it has been hollowed out and emptied of meaning?’
Combining brilliant political insight and razor-sharp prose, Listening to Grasshoppers is the essential new book from Arundhati Roy. In these essays, she takes a hard look at the underbelly of the world’s largest democracy, and shows how the journey that Hindu nationalism and neo-liberal economic reforms began together in the early 1990s is unravelling in dangerous ways.
Beginning with the state-backed killing of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, she writes about how ‘progress’ and genocide have historically gone hand in hand; about the murky investigations into the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament; about the dangers of an increasingly powerful and entirely unaccountable judiciary; and about the collusion between large corporations, the government and the mainstream media.
The collection ends with an account of the August 2008 uprising in Kashmir and an analysis of the November 2008 attacks on Mumbai. ‘The Briefing’, included as an appendix, is a fictional text that brings together many of the issues central to the collection.
About the Author
Arundhati Roy is a world-renowned Indian author and global justice activist. From her celebrated Booker Prize–winning novel The God of Small Things to her prolific output of writing on topics ranging from climate change to war, the perils of free-market development in India, and the defense of the poor, Roy's voice has become indispensable to millions seeking a better world.